• Rachel Samson

4th Condition for Developing Great Ability: Provide A Great Deal of Training

Updated: Sep 25, 2019


This is the 4th section of a 5-part series outlining Shinichi Suzuki's "Conditions for Developing Great Ability" from Chapter 2 of his book Ability Development from Age Zero. If you would like to listen to the Intro, you can hear it here.


Full Transcript:

The fourth condition is to provide a great deal of training— The best way to get a strong and well-rounded music education is to be committed and consistent. Years of study, rather than “just trying it out,” will be required to fully benefit your child. Students can take advantage of a great deal of training by diversifying their learning environments. Just to name a few: Private lessons, group lessons, chamber music, orchestra, other ensembles or clubs, or worship or service-based performances. Do not underestimate the impact that private teachers, chamber music coaches, youth orchestra conductors, sectional coaches, school ensemble teachers, clinicians, and even audience members or music appreciators can have on your child. These people can mold your child with an education not just in music, but in humanity, worldview, and life philosophy as well.

A personal note here: I’m so grateful for my amazing teachers. They gave me more than I can possibly hope to describe in words. The most magical part of my music journey has been the chance to build relationships with so many passionate and purposeful people. I am hugely indebted to my parents, who afforded me all sorts of wonderful musical opportunities, while making worlds of sacrifice on their end. I am also very grateful that my teachers were humble and wise enough to allow me to move on to another teacher when they determined the time was right! With that in mind, as a little aside, I have a strong opinion to share with you: While consistency and the long game are definitely a crucial part of receiving a quality music education, in my humble opinion, I do not think it healthy or advisable to subscribe to only one teacher forever. This doesn’t mean hop around from teacher to teacher, a couple years at a time. What it *does* mean is that you should be receptive to learning from more than one teacher in your lifetime, and whomever you select to be your teacher should never isolate you or become possessive of you. We are living portfolios of all the experiences and perspectives we encounter, and no one individual can possibly give you everything you will ever need. (This applies on many levels of life.) A well-rounded education is a healthy education, and student-teacher relationships should be built on mutual respect and interest in what is the highest and best good for all involved.

This leads us to the fifth and final condition…


Rachel is passionate about applying the legacy of Shinichi Suzuki in her teaching, and strives to deliver to parents the necessary tools to help their children succeed. Rachel and her husband Neil Fong Gilfillan operate Chili Dog Strings in Frisco TX.

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© 2019 by NEIL FONG GILFILLAN and RACHEL SAMSON.

Special photo credit to Keli Cardoso de Melo who took so many of the photos we use on our website :)